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LIGHTNING DEAL ALERT! Is math bogging down your homeschool day? (Discount Code expires 2/26!)

lightning deal alert is math bogging down your homeschool day discount code expires 2 26

ctc math


Is math bogging down your homeschool day? (Discount Code expires 2/26!)
Number of stars: 5 out of 5.

Finding a math curriculum that works for your family can be a challenge! With CTCMath, all of your kids from K-12 can learn at their own pace with one family subscription. That’s right! With a CTCMath membership, you have access to all grades and lessons, which means your children can work at whatever level is best for them.

Whether your kid needs to catch up, keep up, or move ahead, with CTCMath they can finally understand math and work at their own pace.

CTCMath is offering members a half-price discount plus a bonus 6 months when you register for a 12-month membership. That means you have access to a complete online homeschool math curriculum for all your kids for 18 months! Just use this link by February 26 to access this deal!

Nervous making significant online purchases? CTCMath comes with a 12-month money-back guarantee. No questions asked! Just email CTCMath, if you change your mind.

Thank you for supporting Hip Homeschool Moms. Below are other Amazon deals you might be interested in.#affiliatelinks

Looking for more deal alerts? Check out our master list of deal alerts!

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Are You Worried About Homeschooling and Socialization?

are you worried about homeschooling and socialization
blog Are You Worried About Homeschooling Socialization PIN2
Pin Are You Worried About Homeschooling and Socialization 1
Pin Are You Worried About Homeschooling and Socialization 2
Pin Are You Worried About Homeschooling and Socialization 3
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HHM Are You Worried About Homeschooling and Socializiation PIN1

Do you know people who are still concerned that homeschooled children aren’t well socialized? Who believe that homeschoolers don’t know how to get along with others, have friends, and deal with real life? Or maybe you feel strongly about it, but your husband does not support homeschooling.

I’m here to tell you that it just isn’t true that homeschooled children aren’t well socialized! In fact, the truth is that many homeschooled students are extremely well socialized. (I hate the term socialized! But because that’s the term commonly used to refer to how well children and teens do in social situations, I’ll use it here.)

Depositphotos Children Playing

Over my 20+ years of homeschooling, I’ve come in contact (both in real life and online) with many homeschooling parents whose relatives and friends are concerned that their homeschooled children aren’t properly socialized. They worry that these students won’t know how to get along with other children. That they’ll be awkward teenagers. (Imagine that!!) That they won’t be able to go to college and get married and have jobs in the “real world.” But it’s just not true.

Most homeschoolers are extremely well socialized!

The strange thing is that the majority of homeschooled students are extremely well socialized! In fact, I know more children who go to public or private schools who are socially awkward, extremely shy, don’t have many friends, and aren’t able to carry on a conversation with other students (much less with adults) than homeschooled students who fit this description. Many homeschooled children, in fact, are socialized in ways that are much more beneficial to them (both now and in the future) than students who are socialized by public or even private schools. In fact, part of the reason many people homeschool is to protect our children from the world’s standards, and that can be a very good thing!

Social awkwardness is not necessarily dependent upon whether a child goes to public school or is homeschooled.

Yes, there are some homeschooled students who are socially awkward and shy. However, there are also some public and private school students who fit the same description. In other words, people generally blame the awkwardness or shyness of homeschooled students on the fact that a particular student is homeschooled, yet when students go to public or private schools, they don’t blame those students’ social awkwardness on the fact that those students attend public or private school.

Homeschoolers are generally very good at socializing with people of all ages.

After having met and gotten to know homeschooling families all across the United States and in my local area, it is my experience that the majority of homeschooled students are able to get along with, talk with, and otherwise interact with people of all ages–not just those in their own peer group.

Think about it this way: Most students who go to public or private schools interact with students of the same age/grade level all day. This isn’t the case with homeschooled students. When we homeschoolers get together for field trips, co-op classes, sports, play days, book clubs, and so on, we usually bring all of our children with us. And of course we parents are in attendance too. This means our children are exposed to babies, toddlers, young children, older children, tweens, teens, parents, and grandparents on a regular basis.

It’s not unusual to see children of all ages chatting and playing with other children who are older or younger than themselves. They don’t think they can only be friends with other children who are the same age and grade level. One year at a family reunion, I actually heard a pre-teen girl complain repeatedly that she didn’t have anyone to play with that day. I looked around and saw ten or twelve other children there, so I pointed out that fact. She quickly let me know that she couldn’t play with those children because none of them were in fifth grade like her. But many homeschoolers, on the other hand, could comparatively be called socialization geniuses!

We’re preparing our homeschoolers for real life!

It’s not unusual to see tweens and teens helping to look after the toddlers and young children when we have a get-together. And it’s also quite common to see children and teens talking with parents or grandparents–their own and others’ too! Why is this? Because this is real life!

When our students graduate from our homeschools and go to college or get jobs, they won’t go to college or to work with only other people of the same age! They’ll be expected to be able to work with people of all ages. They’ll be expected to get along with and communicate with others of different ages.

In fact, I have to share some examples from my own family with you. My youngest child (who has been homeschooled since the beginning) is now 18 years old. From the time she was about 12 until she was 17, she served as an assistant to an art teacher in classes for children from kindergarten through about third grade. My daughter is a bit of an introvert, but she loves art and she loves children, and the combination of the two made her look forward to helping in those art classes for quite a few years! In fact, the art teacher was sad to see her go when she started her first “real” job and was no longer available to help teach the art classes.

And yes, that’s right. My poor unsocialized homeschooler started working at her first real job. (Haha!) She now works a couple of days a week at a locally-owned health food store. Because it’s a small store, she often has to work alone. She’s had to learn about many products, their uses, and where they’re found in the store. She has to talk with customers to find out what they need and to show them where to find products. She helps customers of all ages from teenagers to adults to elderly people, and she handles all of them very well.

She also works in the sound booth at our church with a couple of other teenagers, babysits on a regular basis, and fills in for the youth Sunday school teacher. And the truth is, being homeschooled is what allows her to do many of these things! Homeschooling allows her to build time into her schedule to handle these responsibilities.

It makes me proud that she’s able to get along with children and adults of all ages. It makes me happy that she enjoys the company of many other people–not just those of her own age/grade. And it’s fantastic that she has so many opportunities to build social skills in so many real-life situations. This should be the goal for all children–whether they homeschool or not!

Our Goal As Homeschool Parents:

What I really want you to take away from this article is that, even though the choice to homeschool sometimes leads people to (mistakenly!) worry that our children won’t be well socialized, the truth is that they usually are. They are being prepared for real life in a world with people of all ages. And as parents, that’s what we’re here to do–prepare our children to live their lives as adults. So next time a well-meaning friend or relative expresses concern that your children aren’t well socialized or you find yourself being criticized for homeschooling, remind them that you’re preparing them for real life. And you’re doing a great job of it!

Wendy Signature Transparent Backgroundxoxo

P.S. – If you’d like to see some research-based data about homeschooling, please take a look at our article Updated Homeschool Research by NHERI. You’ll be happy to find that there is research-based information supporting the effectiveness of homeschooling and the real-life success of adults who were homeschooled.

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Start a Business and Teach Entrepreneurship

start a business and teach entrepreneurship
mom and son reading computer screen

As homeschool moms, we tend to look at everything as a teaching opportunity, and starting a business is no different! We recently took the Rainmakers 7-day challenge to start an e-commerce business. We loved it so much we also joined their mastermind group! Want to find out more? You can take their 7-day challenge too. We believe you can start a business and teach entrepreneurship at the same time!

Start a business and teach Entrepreneurship 2

Wendy and I have always had a desire to find a way to help homeschool moms supplement their income. Why? Because we often hear from homeschool moms who are struggling.

We hear how many moms are having to work outside the home and the stress it adds to your homeschool experience.

We hear how hard it is to work on somebody else’s schedule and homeschool around it.

We hear how you want to make a living while working around your other many responsibilities.

So we have been hunting for an idea that we believed in and wanted to do ourselves and would want to share with you… and we have found it! We are doing it ourselves! Did you see our diamond painting kits that we just launched this month? Those are due to the Rainmakers challenge!  They are offering a new 7-day challenge starting on Thursday, February 25, and we really want to encourage you to join it! It only costs $27, and you will get the tools that very first weekend to make your $27 back, immediately.

Take the Rainmakers challenge. You have nothing to lose!

Save My Spot, I’m READY to Learn More!

I know you have lots of questions!! We did too. Each day of the challenge Stephen and Chelsey, the challenge leaders, cover a different topic related to starting an online e-commerce business. If you have teenagers, get them to do the challenge with you! Here’s what you will learn each day:

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Here are a few moms who are launching products right now! They are super excited to give away their products and to share their journeys with us. We hope you will:

  • enter the giveaways below.
  • click over to Amazon and buy their products if you love them! (This is a great way to support other women who are just starting their own Amazon businesses.)
  • click over to Facebook and watch their interviews. (This is a wonderful way to find out more about the mom behind each product!)

Win Great Products and Support Moms Starting E-Commerce Businesses

Now let’s get to the fun part… the giveaways! One thing to note, as new Amazon sellers, these moms will want you to purchase the item you win on Amazon and then they will reimburse you for the entire amount. We are sure they will do it, because we know these ladies… but just in case, we want you to know, WE will reimburse even if they don’t. So no worries about that! And if you love the products, please be sure to leave reviews!! They are the lifeblood of new businesses starting on Amazon and only about 20% of buyers actually leave reviews.

Educational Diamond Painting Kits

Teaching Toys Diamond Painting Kits

This is us! Wendy and I started Teaching Toys and launched diamond painting kits as our very first products. But they are not just diamond painting kits, we included beautiful unit studies for each African animal in the series. We hope you love them so much, you want to get them all!

Bookends for Kids – Dinosaur Decor Metal Bookends

Bookends for Kids

Astrid is the creator of the Bookends for Kids. You can learn more about her story in my interview with her on Facebook. (click here)

Animal Alphabet Wall Decor for Kids

Animal Alphabet Wall Decor for Kids

Emily is the creator of the Animal Alphabet Wall Decor for Kids. Learn more about why she chose this product. (click here) 

Röhmi Multipurpose Modern Leather Mat

Röhmi Multipurpose Modern Leather Mat

Shandi is a precious young mom who started the Rohmi brand. The name of her brand means something very special to her. See why she chose this name for her brand and learn about her beautiful Multipurpose Modern Leather Mats!

Tooth Fairy Pillow with Pocket for Boys and Girls

Tooth Fairy Pillow with Pocket

Falcon is the creator of the Tooth Fairy Pillow, and she is determined for this business to be strictly an Amazon business. I call her aggressively passive… see why!

Mitch Co. Extra Large Baskets for Toys

Mitch Co. Extra Large Basket for Toys

Diana saw a need for extra-large baskets for toys. Learn more about Diana and her products here.

Hopscotch Kids Rug

Hopscotch Kids Rug

Mamy created this product for her kids. Where she lives she could not draw hopscotch squares on the sidewalk!! Find out why they couldn’t draw on the sidewalks and more about her product in this interview on Facebook.

Matching Animal Felt Alphabet Flash Cards with Black Felt Flannel Board

Matching Animal Felt Alphabet Flash Cards with Black Felt Flannel Board

Cheri was homeschooled along with her two brothers. All three are now doctors! She married someone who was homeschooled who is a lawyer. Cheri is the only interview where I cried. Cheri is precious, her story is so encouraging, and her mission will touch your heart! Meet Cheri and hear some of her story here. 

I HEART KITS

Punch Needle Mini Bundle by I HEART KITS

I Heart Kits DIY Macrame Wall Hanging Kit

Kristin saw a gap in the offerings on Amazon for creative craft kits, and her desire is to fill the gap! She has created two so far. Learn about her kits and her story here. 

Elephant Tooth Fairy Plush Pillow

Elephant Tooth Fairy Plush Pillow

Flore created a fun little Tooth Fairy Pillow as her product. You can learn more about her story here.

My Car Maintenance Planner Journal for Women

My Car Maintenance Planner Journal for Women

Cindy’s husband owns a repair shop, so her products are created from needs she sees every day in that business. All of her products are directed at Ladies Kar Care. Learn about her Amazon journey here

Rachael Is on the FAST TRACK!

Rock Climbing Gear

Vogue Homes Farmhouse Pillow Covers

Rachael was part of the June challenge with me. She has not only launched 7 products, but she is also now a Rainmaker coach!! I love her energy and her story. You can meet Rachael here. 

Tooth Fairy Pillows for Girls

Tooth Fairy Pillows for Girls

Nicole has an interesting story too. Her story starts with her serving our country in the military. Find out more about her and the Tooth Fairy Pillow here

Zoe Frances Designs Pom Pom Garland

Zoe Frances Designs Pom Pom Garland

Zoe Frances Designs Pom Pom Garland – Blue, Green, & Mustard Gold

Jeni is so creative and organized! I wish I could hire her to help get my house in order! Learn more about her story and how she came up with the idea for her pom pom garland here.

Melissa has been BUSY! 

Pencil Holder or Makeup Brush Cup for Women

Chicken Pillow Cover

Pink Dolphin Stuffed Animal Bean Bag Storage

Melissa is a serial entrepreneur!! She has started multiple brands and is really finding her groove already! It is exciting to watch her journey and see what she is up to next. Meet Melissa and learn about how she got started here. 

We hope these moms inspired you and that you are excited about starting a new journey… one where you can start a business and teach entrepreneurship at the same time!

I’m Ready to Start a Business and Teach Entrepreneurship At the SAME Time!

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Series 02 – An Extended Version of Embedded SIM [eSims]

series 02 an extended version of embedded sim esims
where is my esim

TGIF my readers and welcome back! I assume that our previous blog helped you understand what eSIMs are and its characteristics.

So what is within this blog then? You may find that soon, hold on. This time I didn’t purchase anything new, though. 

P.S my apple watch is doing wonders, guess what? I crossed 7,018 steps using the accelerometer synced with my health app. Is it an achievement?

NOTE: Your eSIMs can be installed only once. After successful installation, do NOT DELETE/REMOVE your eSIM from your smartphone.

So, are you travelling?

In principle, eSIM should mean that you can go to another country and simply add to your phone a roaming eSIM while retaining access to your primary “local” number. This is deemed to be one of the drawbacks at the moment, since, for example, if you change SIMs abroad, you can’t retrieve your own number. 

On the brighter side, it eliminates potential roaming chances abroad. This allows individuals to shift towards better operators in an area where signals could be an issue. This way an individual can quickly free up space to extend the battery life of the device or to add new features. This way they could reduce identity theft risks as well.

Wide adoption of eSIMs would be inevitable when customers and operators begin to see the advantages.

eSim – the sacred lost love of your device? 

One of the benefits that phone manufacturers provide is that we can get smaller devices so there is no need to fit a SIM card or the tray that carries it. Networks also do not need to generate or sell loads of SIM cards.

For other computers, such as laptops and tablets, eSIMs will also be outstanding, where flawless connectivity will become the standard. 

It is said that eSIMs would allow more smart devices simply because eSIMs do not need too much space within a system, enabling fitness trackers to perceive a stand-alone 4G or 5G connectivity in a way they were only unable to do before.

Practical elaborated eSim illustrative response: how will it actually work?

As good the question is, imagine you are provisioned with an eSim and physical (traditional) sim. You’re then asked to integrate both to two different network operators. Now your device, for instance, an iPhone will simultaneously display both networks on the device. Imagine you have added two physical sim cards resting conveniently in your slot, but in reality there is an embedded sim with a conventional one.

Customers would be able to answer calls and texts on both numbers if the handset is in standby and both the SIM and eSIM are supplied. You can then select a “default” line, to make calls, use along with iMessage (plus) FaceTime. The other line is for both SMS and voice only.

Tip: In the third series we will share hassle-free step-by-step installation methods. 

Conversely, you can only choose Use Secondary for cellular data – useful if you are overseas and use eSIM for local data. 

More than one eSIM can be installed on your iPhone, but you can only use one at a point. 

By tapping Settings > Cellular > Cellular Plans and tapping the plan you want to use, you can turn to eSIMs. It’s Mobile Data if you’re in the UK. Tap Turn ON, then on this line.

NOTE: We will cover installation in detail in series 03, this Wednesday. Keep an eye!

P.S There’d be a BONUS!

To be continued, folks. We’re reaching the final part soon.

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The Ultimate List of Dr. Seuss Activities for Dr. Seuss Day!

the ultimate list of dr seuss activities for dr seuss day
HHM Dr Seuss Day PIN

Dr. Seuss is one the most beloved names in all literature, for adults and children alike! We love him for his fun rhymes, whimsical creatures, and the way that his stories share big ideas in simple ways. For all of these reasons (and so many more), we continue to celebrate this special author on the day of his birth each year, which is March 2nd–otherwise known as Dr. Seuss Day!

Dr. Seuss Day activities

Dr. Seuss Day is also a great way to kick off March as National Reading Month.  If you are looking for some fun ways to celebrate this treasured author in your homeschool this year, look no further! We’ve compiled a huge list of fun crafts and activities that you can use as you explore wonderful books like Cat in the Hat, The Lorax, Green Eggs and Ham (and more!) These activities are especially great for Pre-K – elementary ages. However, even your older kiddos may want to get in on the fun (after all, Dr. Seuss is pretty great no matter how old you are). Don’t forget to pick up copies of his books, too. We have links to all of the activities, and the books that go with them, below. Enjoy!

This wonderful story is all about  taking responsibility for the impact you can make on the world! Here are some wonderful crafts and activities to go with The Lorax by Dr. Seuss.

Free Printable Lorax Bookmark

This printable bookmark is perfect simple craft/activity to start out with when celebrating Dr. Seuss day because you can use it when reading all your Seuss-y books! Plus, the way that the lorax marks the page by biting it is pretty silly and sure to induce some giggles.

Lorax Corner

Lorax Truffula Tree Seed Craft 

Young kids will love this craft because they get to make their very own Truffula tree seed to hold onto while listening to the story! The craft tutorial also comes with a wonderful printable of a quote from the book that you can tie onto the “seed.” 
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Handprint Lorax Craft with Salt Dough

Children always love working with salt dough, and this craft shows you how to turn your child’s salt dough handprint into a Lorax-inspired design. You even set in in the microwave to keep things as simple as possible. This super fun craft even leaves mom and dad with a sweet keepsake.

Lorax Handprint Craft

Lorax Handprint Papercraft 

Here’s another Lorax craft that is inspired by the shape of your child’s handprint! This version, however, is more simple and uses paper (and a few other resources you probably already have at home). There’s also space inside to write “I speak for the trees,” inside the handprint, which will help your child think about and remember one of the book’s main themes.

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Watercolor and Oil Pastel Truffula Trees 

Young artists will love this Lorax-inspired Truffula tree tutorial, which uses watercolor paints and oil pastels! The final result is gorgeous!

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Everyone loves the mischievous Cat in the Hat who shows kids how to have messy fun (and pick up when they’re done).  Use these fun crafts and ideas alongside this classic favorite.

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Dr. Seuss Solo Cup Party Hats

Use this super simple tutorial to create party hats out of solo cups as you kick off your Dr. Seuss celebration– Cat in the Hat style!

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Thing 1 and Thing 2 Card Craft

This adorable Thing 1 and Thing 2 card craft is easy to make at home: all you need is colored paper, some little hands to trace, and the free downloadable template attached in the link.  Write  a special  message  or  a favorite  quote  from  the  book,  inside!

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Easy Cat in the Hat Paper Craft 

This easy craft uses materials you likely have at home already, and is a fun, quick craft to create your kiddos’ favorite, hat-wearing cat!

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Cat in the Hat Name Puzzle

This idea is both simple and clever: you can use the stripes on the cat’s hat to spell out words. This tutorial shows you how to use it to make a “hat” for each child that spells out his or her names, but you could even use this concept to practice spelling words!


craft cat in the hat

One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish is a great Dr. Seuss book to go through with your early reader and talk about the interesting and beautiful variety of things and creatures that exist in nature. We have some fun, Seuss-y fish-themed crafts that go with this book perfectly!

Red Fish, Blue Fish: A Dr. Seuss Inspired Paper Craft 

Paper quilling is a simple technique that creates a beautiful effect. It’s also a great way to teach your child about some basic shapes. Use this fun and easy quilling tutorial to make Dr. Seuss inspired fish to go with your reading of Reading of One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish!

OPC Red Fish Blue Fish FB

Edible One Fish, Two Fish Playdough Craft 

This craft is almost too many fun things at once: DIY edible (marshmallow) playdough, Swedish fish, bright colors and a Dr. Seuss theme?! Your kids will love this one, guaranteed.

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Dr. Seuss Inspired Origami Fish Craft 

This beautiful and creative 3D art craft will teach kids how to make their very own origami fish and get creative as they create an ocean scene with various materials.

Origmai fish Dr Seuss One fish two fish 2

Red Fish, Blue Fish Rice Krispies  

These adorable Rice Krispies are fun to make and are the perfect treat to enjoy on Dr. Seuss Day!

DR SEUSS DAY

Green Eggs and Ham is so much fun to read aloud and opens the door for great conversations about trying new things! Here are some of our favorite crafts and activities to go along with this book.

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Green Eggs and Ham Inspired Slime!

Kids always love slime, and this slime looks like the green eggs from Green Eggs and Ham! It’s the perfect craft to enjoy making and playing with for Dr. Seuss Day. Just don’t eat it because – unlike in the book – it probably won’t taste good! (Check out the next activity if you’re looking for something edible!)

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Green Eggs and Ham Cupcakes

Now these are some green eggs that your kids will definitely want to eat! These Green Eggs and Ham inspired cupcakes have whimsical white chocolate toppers that look exactly like the green eggs in the story! Bake and eat them together in celebration of Dr. Seuss Day!easy dr seuss green eggs cupcakes 4

This book is about how important it is to care about others even (and especially) when it’s easier not to. Here are some wonderful crafts to go along with your reading of Horton Hears a Who!

Create your Own Horton from Horton Hears a Who 

This adorable cardstock Horton is simple to make and stands up on it’s own, making an excellent decoration for your Dr. Seuss party!

Hoton Hears a Who elephant craft12

Handprint Horton Elephant Craft 

Parents and kids will love this sweet craft which uses a child’s handprint to make an elephant. The resulting art helps tell the story of Horton Hears a Who!

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Horton Hatches the Egg STEM Activity

Kids of all ages will love this fun STEM experiment that goes along with the book!

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More Dr. Seuss Activities

Here are a few more Dr. Seuss Activities from various other books that you may know and love!

Put Me in the Zoo Paper Plate Craft

Young kids will enjoy the many textures and colors of this fun and simple craft that’s inspired by the Dr. Seuss book, Put Me in the Zoo!

Dr Seuss Paper Plate Craft Put Me in the Zoo pin4 683x1024 1

Daisy-Head Mayzie Inspired Headband

Got any Daisy-Head Mayzie fans at home? They will love getting to be daisy-heads, themselves, after making this wearable craft!

daisy head mayzie craft

There’s a Wocket in My Pocket Craft

Inspired by the book, There’s a Wocket in my Pocket!, this craft is all about embracing creativity as kids build wockets for their own pockets out of a few simple materials! The tutorial encourages kids to come up with rhyming words to describe their wockets, so this craft can result in a variety of different pocket-sized creations.

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Oh the Places You’ll Go Quilling Craft 

This bright and whimsical quilling craft will show kids how to create their very own hot air balloon as they read Oh The Places You’ll Go and dream about the future. Oh The Places you will go Paper Quilled Balloon Dr Seuss craft Main 3

We hope that you find some great inspiration here to use for your Dr. Seuss Day Celebration on March 2! Do you have any Dr. Seuss Day Traditions? Which of these crafts are you eager to try this year! Drop us a comment and tell us about it!

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Series 01 – E-sim: An introductory 2021 guide

series 01 e sim an introductory 2021 guide
Apple Watch

Last week I bought a terrific smartwatch i.e., an Apple Watch  Series 3 GPS + Cellular. The experience was astounding but I conquered this dilemma of eSim technology?

Within the latest Apple Watch, resides an odd hidden twist: a built-in SIM card that isn’t a SIM card. It’s an eSIM, or embedded subscriber identity module.

It took me an hour to get through this ‘thoroughly’ as it was my first experience. Based on it, I thought of writing an insightful eSim three-part blog. Fret not, it’s easy to configure it.

So without further ado, let’s get into this!

What is an eSim?

The buzzword “eSIM” merely means a SIM card that is integrated or embedded.  No physical SIM cards are involved and there is no physical swapping over is needed by you. The network or carrier must support eSIM and enable it, and eSIM is not yet supported by all networks. 

Basically, an eSIM is a small chip within your phone and appears to work in a way similar to the NFC chip being used in payment techniques such as Apple Pay and Google Pay. 

ESIM is supported by GSMA, the Mobile Networks Association, and the eSIM standard has been defined worldwide by that organization.

The information on an eSIM is rewritable, meaning that with a simple phone call you can decide to change your operator. They’re very simple to extend to a data plan. It can be done in minutes to connect devices with eSIMs to a mobile account.

What devices does eSIM support?

The most notable ones are:

  • iPad Pro
  • Apple Watch Series 3
  • Apple Watch Series 4 and 5 
  • iPhone XS, XS Max, 11 and 12 series
  • Google’s Pixel 2 (originally used for Google Fi in the US)
  • Google Pixel 3, 3 XL, 4, 4XL, 4a
  • Moto Razr flip phone
  • Windows 10
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon-powered PCs

FYI: Every year, more eSIM capable devices are produced, and not all are mobile phones. We have been used to connecting other devices such as laptops or tablets to Wi-Fi, but with the increasing adoption of eSIM technology, it is only a matter of time before they can all connect independently to the internet.

eSim vs. SIM

When they are traveling, many travelers fail to locate a reliable mobile network, and even if they find one, they do not need the service for more than a month. 

The similarity between the two [eSim & conventional sim]

There is a SIM vs. eSIM stigma because they are entirely different systems, and they can not be fairly compared.

Most individuals, however, would be shocked to understand that they have quite a few similarities, such as: 

They both connect your phone to the network of your mobile provider. 

  • Both of these can be found in several different devices (not just phones)   
  • Both remember your phone and the plan used.

Here are the eSIM positive aspects: 

  • ESIM can not be physically harmed or lost: because it’s installed inside phones, at the least suitable moments, you run far less harmful cards and weaken your signal quality. 
  • The eSIM can be used with a SIM: phones with dual-SIM technology can switch between a SIM data line and an eSIM to get the best possible signal worldwide.
  • ESIM is tiny: because an eSIM is small, it can fit into modern wearable technologies, such as watches or other devices, which over time can become smaller. 
  • Multiple cellular profiles can be stored by eSIM: There is no limit to storing single cell phone plan information; it can therefore be used anywhere around the globe.
  • ESIM is not easy to hack: when in a roaming situation, hackers must pivot through a billing-process protection feature and the cloud to intrude into your phone data. 
  • It’s easy to track eSIM: Network operators can monitor eSIM over the air, making it easier to pinpoint your location in case your phone got lost or stolen.

The negative aspects of eSIM are here: 

While eSIM can seem flawless at a glance, the use of eSIM still has a few drawbacks. 

  • For older phones, eSIM is not available: eSIM is not compatible with older phone models because it’s relatively new, and you will have to pay for an expensive new phone. 
  • They can both be used on a dual-SIM phone simultaneously. 
  • Technically, they are both SIM cards.
  • Yes, that’s correct, they’re both SIMs. However, with the carrier plan, a SIM card is a chip that is physically inserted or removed within your handset. An eSIM (embedded sim) is installed into your phone and indirectly downloads the schedule of your carrier.
  • ESIM is more difficult to transfer data: you have to retrieve your data from the cloud to get your addresses, texts, and other media back instead of popping the card out of a broken phone. 
  • ESIM can’t be used on different phones: because it’s embedded, there’s no way you can take the card out and use it on an unlocked phone.

P.S it doesn’t end here. To be continued… 

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Africans want elections. But fewer now believe that they work.

africans want elections but fewer now believe that they work

Originally published on the Washington Post Monkey Cage blog, where our biweekly Afrobarometer Friday series explores Africans’ views on democracy, governance, quality of life, and other critical topics. 

For the watching world, one key takeaway from the U.S. election in 2020 is just how fragile even a long-established democracy can be if people lose faith in elections. Well-wishers hope that its corollary will be just how effective resilient institutions can be in rebuilding that faith.

While Africans followed the U.S. election debacle with intense interest, they certainly have case studies of their own when it comes to allegations of election fraud and disputed results. The most recent is Uganda, where the challenger in January’s election blasted “the most fraudulent election in this country’s history” even as security forces imprisoned him in his home. Guinea and Côte d’Ivoire saw blood in the streets in 2020 as presidents manipulated constitutional provisions to extend their rule. Kenya and Malawi tested their democratic institutions with high court decisions to annul hotly disputed presidential victories and order new elections — resulting in a change of leadership in Malawi.

In each case — regardless of whether they blame government repression, fraud, opposition violence, sour grapes, or all of the above — citizens find their faith in elections and democracy put to the test.

While that faith remains strong across Africa, it is weaker than a decade ago, with underpinnings that appear less than sturdy. In Afrobarometer surveys in 18 African countries in late 2019 and early 2020, most Africans say they want elections. But far fewer think elections ensure that voters’ views are represented, enable voters to remove leaders they don’t want, or even produce accurate results.

Do elections work?

Only four in 10 Africans (42 percent) say that elections in their country are effective in ensuring that representatives to parliament reflect the views of voters. The same proportion think elections enable voters to remove leaders who don’t do what the people want.

Countries vary widely in their views of how well elections work (see Figure 1). In Ghana (70 percent) and Sierra Leone (65 percent) — two countries where challengers defeated incumbent presidents in 2016 and 2018, respectively — large majorities say elections do enable voters to get rid of non-performing leaders. Curiously, even in Uganda, which has had the same president for 35 years, a majority (58 percent) agrees. But in Gabon, where two generations of the Bongo family have been in power since 1967, only 15 percent think elections serve this function well (see Figure 1).

On average, across 11 countries surveyed regularly since 2008/2009, faith in this accountability function of elections has dropped by 11 percentage points, from 56 percent to 45 percent.

Figure 1: Do elections enable voters to remove non-performing leaders?  | 18 countries | 2019/2020

blog 1 1Respondents were asked: Think about how elections work in practice in this country. How well do elections enable voters to remove from office leaders who do not do what the people want? Source: Afrobarometer.

Africans want elections nonetheless

Even if they don’t place great faith in elections as a way to ensure good representation and leadership, almost three-quarters (73 percent) of Africans want regular, open, and honest elections to choose their leaders. Among 18 surveyed countries, only Lesotho records less than majority support (40 percent) for elections.  

In addition, more than 6 out of 10 Africans (62 percent) endorse multiparty competition as necessary to give voters real choices. 

But here again we see some slippage. On average, across 15 countries surveyed regularly since 2011/2013, the belief that elections are the best way to choose leaders has declined by 8 percentage points. Lesotho records the largest decline (-23 percentage points), followed by Tunisia (-21 points) and Malawi (-19 points in data collected after the disputed May 2019 election and before the June 2020 rerun). Only Sierra Leone shows stronger support for elections than a decade ago (+11 points) (see Figure 2).

Figure 2: Change in support for elections | 15 countries | 2011-2020

blog 2 1Figure shows change, in percentage points, between survey rounds in 2011/2013 and 2019/2020 in the proportion of respondents who “agree” or “agree very strongly” that leaders should be chosen through elections. Source: Afrobarometer.

What about the quality of elections?

Despite frequent allegations of electoral abuses, almost two-thirds (64 percent) of Africans rate their country’s most recent national elections as free and fair (either “completely” or “with minor problems”), an assessment that has varied little across 15 countries tracked since 2011/2013.

Overwhelming majorities hold this view in Burkina Faso (86 percent), Ghana (81 percent), Botswana (80 percent), Sierra Leone (80 percent), and Namibia (78 percent). But only minorities agree in two countries where recent elections were heavily disputed: Malawi (41 percent, referring to the May 2019 contest) and Gabon (30 percent) (see Figure 3). 

Figure 3: The most recent election was free and fair | 18 countries | 2019/2020 

blog 3 0Respondents were asked: On the whole, how would you rate the freeness and fairness of the last national election, held in [20XX]? (percentage who say “completely free and fair” or “free and fair with minor problems”) Source: Afrobarometer.

Assessments of other aspects of election quality are less positive. Nearly half (49 percent) of respondents say the media “never” or only “sometimes” provided fair coverage of all candidates in their last election, and 35 percent say that votes were not accurately counted. About one in five say that people voted more than once (20 percent) and that they themselves were offered food, a gift, or money in exchange for their vote (18 percent). One in four respondents (24 percent) think that powerful people can find out how they voted.

Will people keep voting?

Despite these reservations, most Africans vote: Excluding those who were too young to participate, 73 percent say they voted in their country’s most recent election. And almost 9 out of 10 (87 percent) — including a majority in every surveyed country — say they feel “somewhat” or “completely” free to vote for candidates of their choice without feeling pressured.

Still, declining support for elections is a trend that bears watching as the future of democracy in Africa unfolds. Other analysts have observed that popular support for elections gets a boost from the experience of high-quality elections, especially ones that produce a change in leadership. Our findings agree; support for elections is 11 percentage points higher if respondents believe that their country’s last election was free and fair.   

In that regard, evidence from the recent U.S. election may be in the eye of the beholder. But from Uganda’s violent repression to Ghana’s “boringly” peaceful 2020 presidential contest, from Malawi’s judicial resolution to Guinea’s bloody business as usual, Africans — including generations of future voters or non-voters — are drawing lessons of their own.

Fredline M’Cormack-Hale is associate professor at Seton Hall University and Afrobarometer co-principal investigator for the Institute for Governance Reform (IGR) in Sierra Leone. Find her on Twitter at @fredlinemh.

Mavis Zupork Dome is a research analyst at the Ghana Center for Democratic Development and national investigator for Afrobarometer in Ghana. Find her on Twitter at @zupork.